Is Your PTA an ATM for Your School?

Have you ever felt that your PTA was an ATM for your school principal and teachers? Have you ever felt like your principal thought your PTA budges was his or her discretionary spending fund? Do you get requests from teachers and school staff to fund certain projects and items that really ought to be part of the school budget? You’re not alone. PTAs frequently turn over their funds to school administration for such basics as books, equipment, and maintenance, not to mention extras, such as playground equipment and vending machines. The customs that have developed between PTAs and schools have blurred the line about what PTAs are; what vision, mission, and purposes we follow; and how our funds should be used. Vision, mission, and purposes PTA’s vision is making every child’s potential a reality. PTA’s mission is to be A powerful voice for all children A relevant resource for families and communities A strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child PTA’s purposes, or historical goals are as follows: To promote the welfare of the children and youth in home, school, community, and place of worship To raise the standards of home life To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education How PTAs work The national PTA organization is...

PTA Election Do’s & Don’t

With the school board elections and potential ballot initiatives, it’s important you and your members are aware of the laws around what your PTA can and cannot do. 1) PTAs CANNOT support/endorse/oppose candidates. This is IRS law. If your PTA endorses a candidate you not only jeopardize your PTA’s non-profit status but the non-profit status of every PTA in Colorado. 2) PTAs CAN support or oppose ballot issues. If your PTA wishes to take a position to support or oppose a ballot initiative you must have a majority vote of your membership (not just your Board) and you must give your membership fair notice that the vote will take place (7-10 days). 501(c)(3) Status and Law. Because PTA is a 501c3 non-profit corporation, the IRS does not allow PTA to support candidates. It is legal for PTAs to inform voters of an election and list ALL the candidates who are running. PTAs may hold candidate forums, as long as ALL candidates are invited. Advocating for an Initiative. Colorado PTA prefers that local units help ballot issue campaigns by providing volunteer assistance with such things as literature distribution, yard signs, phone calling, etc., rather than making monetary contributions. Voter registration drives are encouraged. Campaign Donations. The IRS does not allow local units to contribute more than “an insubstantial amount” of their gross revenue to ballot issue campaigns or lobbying. This is generally viewed as being between 2% and 5% of gross revenue. (Please note that this refers to the total amount given to all ballot issues and lobbying throughout the year.) Because all local units are part of the Colorado...

The Smart Talk

National PTA—in collaboration with LifeLock—has announced The Smart Talk, a new interactive online tool that lets parent-child duos set ground rules together about smart digital habits. With The Smart Talk, you can create a customized, personalized technology agreement with the kid(s) in your life. It all starts with creating your ground rules. Give it a try and then help us promote it by sharing #thesmarttalk on social media and within your PTA networks. Spread the Word Are you a local PTA leader? Spread the word at a PTA meeting or as a topic of discussion for your back-to-school meeting agenda. Consider using our sample digital graphics and social media messaging to post on your local PTA’s social media, and download the printable flier and The Smart Talk Quick Guide to encourage your units about getting parents and kids involved. Sample social media messaging Facebook cover and social media graphic The Smart Talk Quick Guide For more info, please visit TheSmartTalk.org and “Like” #TheSmartTalk on...

PTA E-Learning Library

To access our e-learning courses, you will need an online National PTA profile. For assistance with creating a profile or registering for a course, please read the e-learning registration guide. Also, make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements. Para obtener instrucciones en español sobre cómo crear un perfil e inscribirse para un curso, por favor lea la Guía de inscripción para aprendizaje electrónico. PTA Essentials PTA Basics: Discover PTA’s history, structure, programs, and the issues for which it advocates. (approx. 40 min) Effective Advocacy for Your Child: Organize around local issues and address them to benefit the needs of children and your community. This course is designed for emerging local leaders, but all are welcome to attend. (approx. 30 min.) National Standards for Family School Partnerships: Explore how the National Standards for Family School Partnerships creates a framework for engaging families in meaningful ways to support student success. (approx. 30 min.) NEW! PTA Nuts and Bolts Series  Board Basics: Learn the basic governance structures behind most PTA units. (approx. 40 min.) Conceptos básicos para las juntas (Board Basics in Spanish): Aprenda las estructuras básicas de gobernación detrás de la mayoría de las unidades de la PTA. (approx. 40 min.) ¡NUEVO! Local Unit President: This course is an introduction to the roles and responsibilities of the local unit PTA president. (approx. 30 min.) NEW! Local Unit Secretary: This course is an introduction to the roles and responsibilities of the local unit PTA secretary. (approx. 30 min.) NEW! Local Unit Treasurer: This course is an introduction to the roles and responsibilities of the local unit PTA treasurer. (approx. 40 min.) NEW! Leadership Enhancement Creating and Delivering...

Colorado PTA: A Statewide Voice for Children

Colorado PTA was founded in 1907 as the Colorado  Congress of Mothers and  incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1915.  Since its founding, Colorado PTA has served as a nonsectarian, nonpartisan advocate for the child and for parental engagement. As the volunteer-run, state chapter  of PTA, Colorado PTA acts as the link between the national association, based in Alexandria, VA and the local school PTAs  (known as local units) located throughout the State of Colorado. As a chartered, membership-based organization, each local unit, while maintaining its own autonomy, also benefits from being supported by this state and national structure which provides valuable information, resources and   training.  Through this structure, local unit members automatically obtain membership in both Colorado PTA and National PTA as...